Hey everyone... hope all is good with you whatever you are up to.
I'm Alexandra Burke and most of you will know me from winning the X Factor and everything associated with that. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you some things that you may not know about me, and some things that are extremely close to my heart.
Needless to say that the X Factor has changed my life and has allowed me to do things that perhaps I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do before, such as become involved in some really important charity work and organisations.
I think it's fair to say that pretty much everyone in the public eye these days ends up becoming a patron, ambassador or some kind of figurine at a charity. To Joe Public it can become a little bit tiresome when celebrities can be seen to wax lyrical about all 'the good' they are doing and people must think they fly to all these places, pose for a few pictures and then jump back on their private jet.
I can honestly say when I went to Uganda with Comic Relief last year in November it opened my eyes up to a whole other world and really affected me. We were there for five days and I spent a lot of time learning about a charity called Mifumi, which is a domestic violence charity.
Given that up to a worrying 68% of women in Uganda are expected to have experienced violence at some point in their life, the work they do is absolutely crucial. The charity provides safe houses for these women to shelter in, as well as ongoing counselling and support. The charity also teaches these women to feel empowered and to support and help each other. From personal experiences I wanted to show women that they didn't have to suffer in silence.
I also visited the slums, the ghettos and saw how some of the younger generation lived, or should I say survived... it was heartbreaking to see and there were young boys aged around nine years who were living on the streets and taking lots of drugs.
There are places provided for these children by a charity called Retrak, which helps them come in off the street and gives them a safe place to try and get themselves back on track. The organisation then gets in touch with the child's family to see if they will take them back. If this isn't an option, they then look into adoption opportunities.
Back in the UK I'm also the first ever ambassador for a charity called Railway Children. This was launched in my old school, The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Secondary School in Islington, and is designed to help vulnerable street children who have fled their homes due to either abuse, poverty or neglect.
Railway Children aims to intervene before anything bad happens to these children. This was very personal for me as I got to go back into my old school and see all my old teachers and the younger pupils, and it's so easy for me to pop back in when I can.
Being in the public eye allows me to make a difference to things that I strongly believe in and for that I am always thankful. I can't wait to dedicate some more of my time to the above after I finish promotion for my new single Elephant featuring Erick Morillo, which is coming out on 11 March.
Follow Alexandra Burke on Twitter: www.twitter.com/alexandramusic